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Direct Group and CognitiveDATA Form Strategic Alliance

Press release from the issuing company

Pennington, N.J. – April 24, 2008 – Direct Group, a fully integrated direct marketing solutions provider, announced today that it has forged a multi-year strategic alliance with CognitiveDATA, Inc., the fastest growing marketing technology company in the United States and the leader in developing innovative, proprietary data quality technology.  Together, the two companies will offer what truly represents a new category of technology-driven services in the direct marketing industry – campaign optimization – which will increase response rates at least 1 to 2 percent on every campaign and reduce costs related to both Undeliverable as Addressed (UAA) mail and limitations of the National Change of Address (NCOA) system.  

As general economic and postal rate pressures continue to mount, the services powerfully address urgent needs in the direct mail marketplace for increased results and reduced costs, delivering postal efficiencies through uniquely effective data hygiene.  At the same time, the campaign optimization services also provide a compelling way for direct marketers to be environmentally responsible by helping to address issues related to UAA mail. 

Using proprietary change-of-address technology developed by CognitiveDATA, Direct Group's campaign optimization services suppress complex duplicate names in databases, upgrade non-zip+4 addresses to support automation discounts, and add another 3 to 4 percent in enhanced address records by identifying and selecting appropriate "missed movers" (people who move residences but do not register with the NCOA system), a major contributor to file inaccuracies. 
These processes improve the accuracy of average standard mail files from 96 to 99.9 percent, significantly reducing postal waste, which is costly from both an expense and environmental standpoint.  The identification and elimination of non-contributing mail expenses – together with the addition of new, high-probability potential responders – essentially pay for the processing service by improving campaign response rates.  In addition to financial services, Direct Group will apply CognitiveDATA's campaign optimization approach to client programs in a number of other industries, including insurance, telecom and nonprofit.

"We at Direct Group are focused on meeting immediate client needs for more effective mailing campaigns and reduced costs," said Don McKenzie, President and CEO of Direct Group.  "Never before have we been able to offer such a multi-faceted solution through a new generation of data quality technology that increases responses from the targeted recipients while eliminating the waste of non-productive mailings. This package takes data accuracy and delivery effectiveness to the next level, and so far clients have responded very enthusiastically." 

Direct Group Senior Vice President Pat O'Brien added, "Clients also welcome the capability to help address environmental issues related to postal waste and associated production costs stemming from UAA mail."  O'Brien pointed out that this issue has been in particular focus recently due to Forrester Research's study, "Direct Marketing Needs a Green Wake-Up Call," released last week. 

According to Rod Ford, CEO of CognitiveDATA, "This partnership is an exceptional match for us, particularly because our offerings line up perfectly with the Direct Group team's energetic, dedicated focus on helping clients see extraordinary results on all levels of their campaigns.  Other tools currently on offer are usually based primarily on name-suppression techniques.  With campaign optimization, we are truly driving additional opportunities for new customer acquisition, as well as significant efficiencies, and our approach offers measurable results."

CognitiveDATA's results to date with this technology have been exceptional, including:

•    A national direct marketer with circulation of more than 300 million acquisition pieces per year realized a 3.3 percent reduction in cost of acquisition, resulting in a several-million-dollar decrease in direct marketing spend while producing the same amount of new customer acquisitions.

•    A large telecommunications company with circulation in excess of 250 million pieces per year uses campaign optimization technology to increase the quantity of new customers with no increase in direct marketing spend. 

"This breakthrough approach takes Direct Group to the next level in terms of offering integrated solutions to our clients' direct marketing challenges," said O'Brien.  "Together with our recently expanded capabilities in trigger mailings; versatile, high-speed digital color printing technology; and postal optimization techniques, campaign optimization further completes the picture for our clients seeking multi-channel solutions that cut costs and improve response rates at the same time."